In my opinion, nothing beats Paxo Sage & Onion stuffing to stuff a chicken for your Sunday roast. Or does it? The Hairy Bikers have their own recipe for this classic stuffing, so I’ve given it a whirl. The results were a bit sloppier than I was expecting so perhaps I went wrong somewhere en route (I halved the quantities of the original recipe, so perhaps that was the problem). Nevertheless, the taste was superb. However, for all the faff, I still think the shop-bought stuff wins out.
For the chicken and stuffing
2 onions, peeled, quartered
6-8 fresh sage leaves
125g fresh breadcrumbs
40g butter, plus extra for brushing
1 free-range egg yolk
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5k free-range chicken
1 lemon, sliced
1. For the chicken and stuffing, preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
2. Cook the onions in a pan of boiling water for four minutes, then add the sage leaves and continue to boil for a further minute. Drain well and place into the bowl of a food processor. Add the breadcrumbs, butter, egg yolk, nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until the mixture is just combined and resembles large breadcrumbs (do not blend to a paste).
3. Stuff the chicken with the stuffing mixture. Carefully lift the chicken skin away from the breasts to make two pockets. Insert as many slices of lemon as you can fit, then pull the skin over to enclose. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Place the chicken into a roasting tin and cover the tin with aluminium foil. Put in the oven and cook for 1 hr 30 mins.
5. Remove the foil 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time and strain off the juices. Return the chicken to the oven uncovered for the final 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is golden-brown and crisp. (To check if the chicken is cooked, the juices should run clear when the chicken is pierced between the leg and the body).
6. Serve with your favourite Sunday veg -in our case: roast potatoes, glazed carrots, buttered cabbage and gravy made from the lemony juices and thickened with 1 tsp cornflour mixed with a little water.